Common Side Effects of Immunizations
As the body responds to the immunization, some mild side effects might occur. As long as they begin within two days of the injection, do not last longer than two days, and your child does not look ill, you can treat the symptoms as described below.
- Fever > 101° – Approximately 1 in 3 children, may treat with acetaminophen (ibuprofen if > 6 months old) if uncomfortable.
- Irritability – 1 in 3 children, may treat with acetaminophen.
- Pain at the injection site – 1 in 4 children, massage or acetaminophen as necessary.
- Redness at the injection site – 1 in 4 children, apply a warm cloth several times per day.
- Swelling at the injection site – 1 in 4 children, *apply a warm cloth several times per day.
- Tiredness – 1 in 10 children, no treatment necessary.
* With the 4th and 5th doses of DTaP, 1 in 30 children may get a swollen leg. We always give this shot on one of the legs. Although this can look worrisome, it will resolve without problems. Call us if you are concerned.
Treating the Side Effects
We recommend using acetaminophen (Tylenol) to alleviate any discomfort or fever that might come after immunizations. In children over 6 months, you can choose to use ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil) rather than acetaminophen. You can safely follow the instructions on the box. If you want to be safe and double check, the general dosing of Tylenol is 15mg per kg per dose or 7mg per pound per dose (2.2lbs = 1kg). The dosing of Motrin is 10mg per kg per dose or 5mg per pound per dose.
Other Necessary Immunizations
Other than the immunizations listed in the Recommended Immunizations chart, the only other immunizations we recommend are as follows:
- The flu vaccine should be given to any child older than six months, usually in September or October. This needs to be done yearly! Please sign up for our newsletter on our website to know exactly when the flu vaccine is available. We typically host four (or more) Saturday flu clinics every year. The newsletter will also inform you of how many flu vaccinations your child will need. The recommendations are constantly being updated and the newsletter is the best way to stay current.
- If you are traveling out of the country, there may be other immunizations that you may need.
Immunizations for Future Pregnancies
Studies clearly show that the best protection against whooping cough and the flu for a newborn is for the mom to receive the Tdap and flu shot during pregnancy.
- Per the CDC, the recommended time to get the Tdap shot is withEACH pregnancy during your 27th through 36th week of gestation, preferably during the earlier part of this time period. This replaces the original recommendation that pregnant women get the vaccine only if they had not previously received it
- Per the CDC, the recommended time to get the flu shot (not nasal) is at any time during your pregnancy, regardless of the trimester.
Immunizations for Family and Caretakers of the Newborn Baby
It is important for surrounding family members and caretakers to receive certain vaccines in order to best protect the newborn infant until the baby can build up their own immune system. This is called herd immunity. We strongly recommend two immunizations in particular:
- Tdap (whooping cough or pertussis) booster vaccine: Please have all adult family members and caretakers receive the Tdap vaccine as soon as possible. Siblings who are up to date with their immunization schedule should have excellent protection as we vaccinate all children against whooping cough. Your newborn baby will also receive this immunization at 2, 4, and 6 months of age; however, until 6 months of age the protection is not that strong. Blue Fish does NOT do adult Tdap immunizations; your primary care physician or local pharmacy is the best place to get this shot. See below for more details about the Tdap booster.
- Influenza vaccine: All parents AND siblings should receive the flu vaccine as soon as it is available – typically in September or October. This vaccine needs to be done every year as the flu strains are constantly changing. Parents and siblings can receive their flu vaccines at Blue Fish. Please sign up for our newsletter on our website to know when the flu vaccine is available.